January seems to be the month to talk money. Getting ready for tax season, New Year’s Resolutions, budget time….it is all good. But let’t be honest – we know we mostly want to run and hide. Do you find an excuse, any excuse, to not get real on finances? Why is it that it is the one pit we will continue to keep in our life? We can eat more salad, join a gym for free this month, or give up electronics on a New Year 30 day fast…..just as long as you do not talk money. So we are going to talk money. I know…it is crazy talk. The real. The Honest. The Guilt-free, just get it done talk about changing our mindset about money. This is not a resolution. It is a whole new perspective Why? Because when you change your mindset on money you will open up a whole new world to dreams you thought were not in your reach. Believe me when I say, this is the last subject I would choose. Why finances and money when I am not a financial planner or even an accountant? Because I have been there, done that, and […]Read More
Tis the season for Hallmark movies, making cookies, shopping, and general crazy. Life can move buy so fast in the pursuit of our “perfect holiday”. My favorite memory growing up was going to church with my grandma the weeks leading up to Christmas. Sunday school, church bazaar, cookies and cocoa after service….the smells and the atmosphere seems magical in my memory. There were not many kids that I remember at her church. There were plenty of older members that always had a gift, candy, cookies, or simply loved on my brother and I. It was like a building full of grandmas. The community was overflowing with Christmas Spirit. It could have been right out of a Hallmark movie. Do you have a magical childhood memory? Maybe it was not so great and you would like to change it up for your kids. Hallmark movies are perfect plots for turning the mistakes of the past into blessings for the future. How does that fit into your holiday season in the midst? In the midst of real messy, real busy, real tiring life. No pausing for dramatic plot lines or nice endings wrapped up with a kiss under the mistletoe. If […]Read More
There are kindness challenges, kindness movements, and kindness pleas all over this time of year. Do you find moments of kindness are abundant or hard to find? Kindness is a choice. Daily. I admit some days I feel like I fail miserably. What about when we are in the midst of crazy, stressful, over scheduled holiday season? When we are taking our lives in our hands in every retail parking lot. Yesterday I was in a parking lot driving around looking for a spot. I stopped to let the pedestrian cross in front of me to get to their car. The vehicle behind me proceeded to honk and flash their lights. Why should I be kind? The holiday season presents more challenges to retailate against the anger. It is a season that presents us unlimited opportunities to practice kindness. Have you ever felt exhausted by the feeling you are the only one choosing kindness? Last week we talked about small moments that can overwhelm the hard stuff. Kindness is no different. Often there are days during this season that I am hard pressed to find a smile, a kind word, and especially a driver that is not operating in road […]Read More
Grace in the Midst. What does that look like in the Christmas season? The end of September we finally moved into a house. A year and a half after planned. We have had to practice grace in the midst of our crazy life. Living in a small apartment, we had planned to only be in for 2 months, sending all our belongings to storage, and constantly looking for where we were supposed to land…they all had us stretched to our max. We celebrated two Christmases in our tiny apartment. They were nothing like our “usual” traditions. We had to adapt. For me, mostly it was missing decorating. Those were all in storage. The first Christmas we left and flew to DC to see my husband’s family. I love his family like my own. I really am extra blessed in the in-law, sister and brother in law situation. They are all amazing. Traveling and being in someone else’s home for Christmas means adapting and celebrating with their traditions. Their ways. However, fun, however festive – it is still not my own – of my own control. Our time together resulted in one of the most memorable Christmas and New Year’s. […]Read More
Whatever your big resolution is each year…..does it seem harder and more discouraging? Do you ever feel like the time from Halloween to New Years goes by faster than we can plan? The rush of the holidays, activities, parties, trips, and we just move into January. In the rush, have you ever felt like giving up on your goals? Sometimes it feels easier to just put it off. I will eat better in January. I will exercise again after New Years. How Will We Jump Start A Resolution? Grab a friend or two. We will encourage, equip, and hold each other to the fire. I have mine. For me it is exercise. There is never enough time in the day. I sit at the computer, I sit behind the wheel of a car driving everyone else to their destinations. Everyone else will meet their goals. What about mine? Here are 3 ways we are going to jump start that resolution. Taking care of yourself is not the secondary goal. It will help combat holiday depression, overspending, anxiety…..just focus on ONE thing? What will it be? Finances? Exercise? Eating better? Self care? For the next few months we will be following […]Read More
With a teenager and preteen, we try to have an open door policy. The more kids the merrier. Bring your friends, and their friends – all are welcome. Except one. This one was born from You Never and All the Others. They had a child. Its name is Everyone Else. Everyone Else gets to stay out late. Everyone Else has a never ending flow of money Everyone Else has the clothes that cost more than my weekly paycheck Everyone Else is not welcome in my home. We talk about comparison, competition, and condemnation. As women, it can be a difficult road. But it is not just women. As parents we want more for our kids. At what cost? Everyone Else is expensive – more costly than just money. I expect my kids to ask. It’s ok. I did. We all can get sucked in my the shiny things in the ads, the mall, the hallways of peers that seem to surround Everyone Else. When we have the shiny things – do we feel more complete? More loved? More like we fit in. A long time ago, I decided not to invite Everyone Else into our home. It is […]Read More
Parenting is a life-long journey. I still call my parents for advice. In hard times, I still want my mom. It does not go away – no matter what your relationship with your kids today. As a parent, I dislike writing about parenting. It not a one-size-fits-all subject. I do not have all of the answers – or even most of them. There are days when I feel like I have it all together. Then there are the ones….well you know. The ones you never expected to be this hard. Before we had kids, we had expectations. Expectations of birth, baby life, toddler-life, teen-life, and well so many expectations of control. Then the baby comes. Open the window- toss out the expectations. You have lost all control. Call me when they turn 18. Here are a few expectations I have come to hang onto over the years: Making their own lunch gets them into college This started in First Grade. It was the last straw. Full lunchbox. Nothing is good to eat. I opened the lunch box and told him to take whatever he wanted to school. His eyes were so big. I surrendered that day. (Only to retreat and […]Read More
If you have been married for more than a day, you have experienced some relationship bumps. Unmet, unclear, unfair expectations perhaps? We expect things from our significant other. Even if we think we do not…there is a moment. Among many I speak to, it seems there are many expectations around loading the dishwasher, putting the toilet paper on the holder, and even what side of the bed you will sleep. I stopped ironing my husbands dress shirts early on because I apparently iron on the wrong side of the ironing board. Bless. There are people that can dry clean them. Boom problem solved. Expectations come from the lessons our past has taught us. The proper way…that only YOU know… like how to load the dishwasher. Any other way will not result in clean dishes. It is a convincing argument. But what happens when loading the dishwasher becomes a measure of how much your spouse loves you. How can expectations impact our marriage (or any relationship!)? E – Excuses. Do you use expectations of what should be, could be, or would be to justify your own actions? X – X-ray vision – We often judge our spouse by their actions […]Read More
This past week my son and I helped a friend move her daughter into her dorm at college. There I was stuck in the middle of living in the present, releasing the past, and planning for the future. My son has a few more years of high school but it really has made the clock seem to move forward at warp speed. I remember feeling a similar feeling when he first started Kindergarten. It’s too much, too fast. I will not let go. But time does move forward. Even if it feels like a jump to warp speed from a sci-fi movie, it is just life. Just life. Does not really help how we feel stuck in the middle of the circumstance does it? I am proud of my kids. They do well. They make mistakes, they misbehave, and generally are becoming productive members of society. So why do I want it all to slow down? I do not really want it to slow down. There was a moment that I could see spending the last few years of his high school career sad at everything. Oh do not mistake..there will be tears. There will be the “happy-sad” tears […]Read More
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Embrace the Crazy is about networking women together with those that are living life to the fullest with ALL their crazy. It's not a pit stop, a when I arrive or a when I get thru this...but a path to always taking the next step to living life as it is intended... in relationship with others to complement, equip, and encourage and not to compete.